Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans



Directed by Mark Murphy.

 Starring Chelsea Edge, Julie Graham, Peter Davidson. Horror, UK, 96 minutes.


Released in the UK On Digital 2nd October


An art student graduation party takes a turn for the worst in this low-budget British horror that attempts to explore the conceit of the tortured artist and the art they produce. After a graduation party, art student Melissa is taken from her student house, where all her friends seemingly disappear. Interviewed by a pair of police detectives, Melissa tells a tale that increases in terror as the artistic legacy of a long-dead, infamous and sadistic artist comes to light and how Melissa’s friends and fellow students become caught up in one devotee’s attempt to honour his legacy.


An interesting premise lies at the heart of this film but is buried underneath a convoluted plot that takes ages to get to the point. Even when it gets to that point, there is barely anything worth making the time and effort to discover the easily guessed mystery that drags things out even further. Clocking in at over ninety minutes, the plot does not start spinning its wheels until the halfway mark, making an already lengthy feeling film feel even longer.


The sluggish pacing contends with a severely disjointed plot populated with a sizable cast of bland characters who, although diverse, struggle to make any favourable or memorable impression on the viewer. A foreboding voiceover at the film's beginning attempts to set the tone and premise up but instead comes across as murky as if the film's creative team were attempting to dress it up by being overly verbose in a desperate attempt to dress the film up as something smarter than it, unfortunately, ends up being.


Expository dialogue runs throughout to such an extent that it bogs the film down to a critical degree. The film keeps adding more superfluous characters and back stories that it nearly achieves a critical mass of imploding and sinking in on itself. Whether it is the bitchy gay couple, the continually spurned male, Melissa’s spurned ex-girlfriend, Melissa’s boyfriend, her sister with a shared back story about a stepfather with no bearing on the story who vanishes three-quarters of the way through the film without explanation or the girl with the bobbed hair whose art project is some shonky bondage/torture chair that would have Jigsaw from the SAW movies looking away in embarrassment to mention but a few. On one hand, it feels claustrophobic with the sheer amount of haphazardly thrown in. Conversely, it feels impressive that they managed to jam in as many characters and back stories as the twice-as-long OPPENHEIMER.


Towards the film's end, an interesting Clive Barker-ish hook is at play. This could have been more successful if the filmmakers knew how to simplify and concentrate that hook. However, the lack of style, bland characterisation and disjointed storyline render this as something that fails even the most glancing inspection.


Iain MacLeod.


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Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans